Rioting, arson attacks and violent clashes wracked Chile for a fifth day, as the government declared 15 people dead in an upheaval that has nearly paralyzed the South American country long seen as one of the region"s most stable.
About half of Chile"s 16 regions remained under an emergency decree Tuesday, and some were under military curfew — the first, other than for natural disasters, that"s been imposed since the country returned to democracy in 1990 following a bloody 17-year dictatorship.
The unrest began last week when a relatively minor, less-than-4% rise in subway fares led to students jumping station turnstiles in protest. But the defiance exploded into violence on Friday as demonstrators set fire to subway stations, buses and a high-rise building.
Demonstrations escalated over the weekend, with protesters demanding wide-ranging improvements in education, health care and wages. The protests are fueled by frustration from Chileans who feel they have not shared in the economic advances in one of Latin America"s wealthiest nations.